Keepsakes and items that belonged to “On the Road” author Jack Kerouac from his last home – including his desk, handmade carriers for his cats and figurines the writer held dear – will go on display in the exhibit “Kerouac Retrieved: Items from the John Sampas Collection.”

The exhibit’s opening will feature UMass Lowell professors Michael Millner and Todd Tietchen, who visited Kerouac’s former Florida home at the behest of Sampas, the executor of Kerouac’s literary estate, to bring the writer’s belongings to UMass Lowell. Millner is the director of the university’s Jack and Stella Kerouac Center for Public Humanities, while Tietchen has edited several volumes of Kerouac’s work. The pair will reflect on how being in the author’s home and caring for his belongings has informed their work and transformed their view of him.

Kerouac’s upbringing in Lowell inspired much of his writing. The exhibit offers a glimpse into the author’s domestic side, which is seemingly at odds with his public persona as a cultural rebel. Kerouac died in October 1969 at age 47.

Along with Millner and Tietchen, speakers are scheduled to include UMass Lowell Chancellor Jacquie Moloney. The event is part of the new chancellor’s First 90 initiative (#First90), which focuses the first three months of her administration on programs and events on campus and in the community that align with the second phase of the university’s strategic plan, “UMass Lowell 2020.”

Following the opening, “Race, Ethnicity and the American Hipster: A Panel Discussion,” moderated by UMass Lowell English Prof. Keith Mitchell, will be held at 3:30 p.m. The panel is among the university’s Kerouac-related events that complement the exhibit.

 “Kerouac Retrieved” is open to the public during weekday business hours at Allen House on UMass Lowell’s South Campus. Members of the public who wish to arrange a curated visit should email in advance. Admission to the exhibit and related programs is free. More information is available at